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This photoblog is the first stage of a series of projects by The Other Acropolis Collective. We have a background in archaeology, anthropology, or media studies, and we all share a desire to intervene critically in the processes that often result in monolithic and exclusivist archaeological and heritage materialities in the present.   Our aim is  to produce a range of alternative media interventions which will take the iconic site of the Athenian Acropolis as their centre, their point of departure, or their target (in all senses of the word). This project is a follow-up from a number of other, more conventional academic projects, to do with issues such as the role of the Acropolis in nationalist and colonialist discourses and practices, the social, political, and sensual lives of its ruins, the ways by which the transformative power of archaeological and photographic apparatuses have produced and endlessly reproduced the site/sight of the Acropolis, the tourist experience of the site, and so on (see bibliography for some of these projects).

This project can be seen as the attempt to undermine the monolithic discourse on the Acropolis as an exclusively classical site, by bringing into the fore its other lives, from prehistory to the present (the Mycenaean, the Medieval, the Ottoman, the Muslim, the Christian, the contemporary…), especially through their material traces that still survive, despite the extensive processes of archaeological, but also photographic purification.  We draw our inspiration from two concepts: the first is multi-temporality, and the second, multi-sensoriality.  We believe that the site and the space around it constitute a unique locale which can re-activate different times, evoke different cultures, and reconnect with diverse and fluid identities. At the same time, we hope to encourage a fully embodied, multi-sensory appreciation and engagement with the materiality of the site, beyond the stereotypical, tourist gaze, or the national pilgrimage.  We also favour the re-incorporation of this locale into the fabric of daily life, especially for the people who live around it. We hope that the thoughts and the material generated here will lead to other projects and interventions, some on site, some printed, some virtual, with more immediate a printed, portable alternative tourist guide for The Other Acropolis. We invite you to post your comment, share your thoughts, and if you are an artist or a researcher already working on a similar project, get in touch with us.

info@theotheracropolis.com

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